We’ve Reached The 21 Week Mark!

I have to say this pregnancy has ticked by pretty slowly for me, probably because we’ve had a freezing cold winter keeping us cooped up inside and also because this mommy-to-be hasn’t really felt too good since day 1. But I’m happy to report that we’ve passed the halfway mark and we’re now headed into countdown mode. Baby is moving around like crazy, even letting daddy feel a kick for the first time! After now experiencing two totally different pregnancies, I can officially concur that pregnancy as a whole is a crazy, roller coaster ride with tons of ups and downs, both emotional and physical, but by far the peak of each one is feeling that little one swirling around and kicking inside, there’s nothing more euphoric than that feeling. 



21 Weeks with Baby #2



21 Weeks with Baby #2

As baby and mommy grow, we just keep getting busier and busier over here, but that’s how we like it! It’s hard to believe that Disney is just around the corner and then soon after comes Easter, spring time which means plenty of outdoor time finally, Memorial Day parades, and then some early summer adventures before baby comes. We’re in for some eventful and exciting weeks and months ahead! But for now I just wanted to catch you up on how I’ve been feeling now that I’m nestled snugly in my 2nd trimester!

 

 

 

 

A few more details of what 21 weeks looks like in our house:

  • Go to gluten free foods: Absolutely loving my Sweet Note Bagels with cream cheese!, lots and lots of salads with Marie’s Blue Cheese Dressing or Olive Garden’s Italian Dressing, some of my favorites from Toscano’s Ristorante vodka rigatoni and their antipasto salad, Schar wafer cookies are one of my favorite go to snacks right now, and slowly but surely I’m getting back into making smoothies
  • How am I sleeping?: This is hit or miss with me, some days are definitely better than others and waking up to go to the bathroom at least once is certainly not helping.
  • What’s happening in our world this week: Being cooped up inside because of our freezing cold temperatures is certainly no fun by myself let alone with an ancy toddler who just wants to run around but we’re making the best of it with lots of coloring, painting, reading, and tv and movie time. Feel free to share how you keep your 2 year old busy and happy when you’re cooped up for the winter. 
  • The big secret has been revealed, well kind of: We finally know who our second little one is and I have to say it’s the sweetest secret that we’ve gotten to share just us three and a few others too. Now we have the biggest task ahead, picking a name! We have our list started and a few front runners have emerged so we should be narrowing down on that one pretty soon but as far as the final name choice, we’re keeping that between just us three until baby arrives and meets the rest of our family and friends. 
  • What I love most at this point: Baby seems to be moving constantly these days giving me plenty of swirls and twirls but even some notable belly jump kicks in there too. But my favorite moment recently is when Dan was able to feel baby for the first time, he’s been a second too late for every single other feeling until this week when he got a little reminder of the little one that’s been living in my belly!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (21 weeks)

 

 

A Huge Thank You To Whole Foods For Introducing Me To La Pasta’s Fresh Gluten Free Ravioli

After so many years of eating gluten free, I find I’m always on the lookout for new brands and new products to try. It’s not unusual to find newbies in the prepackaged cookie arena or dry pasta but when it comes to fresh baked goods or fresh pasta the entrepreneurs seem to be fewer and farther between. That being said though, when it comes to this less traveled department I’ve always had some pretty good luck at Whole Foods. In fact, on my last adventure to Whole Foods, spread amongst my favorite fresh gluten free pasta brand RP’s Pasta were fresh gluten free ravioli by La Pasta, that’s right they were fresh gluten free raviolis. I probably couldn’t usher in a container of the gluten free raviolis fast enough but I couldn’t contain my excitement to try these out. Don’t get me wrong, gluten free ravioli exists in frozen form, but haven’t always been successful in my book except for those by Pastosa, but as far as fresh gluten free raviolis, these were a first sighting for me!



Whole Foods Ravioli (2)



Whole Foods La Pasta Gluten-Free Cheese Ravioli

For about $8 a package you get 9 ounces of medium size cheese raviolis that only take a few short minutes to cook up. The container makes plenty for more than one person, I shared some with my little girl and still had some left over for lunch/dinner the next day. Price wise these are pretty comparable with the other gluten free ravioli offerings out there but for me nothing beats a fresh option; so as long as Whole Foods stocks La Pasta’s fresh gluten free ravioli I’ll be heading up there to pick some up when the craving hits.  



Whole Foods Gluten Free Ravioli



A plate full of medium sized, gluten free cheese ravioli!

What I love about fresh pasta is that you feel like you’re eating something so fresh that it could’ve been made that very day even if that wasn’t the case. The freshness really does affect the taste, that’s probably why Dan and my go to meal when we were dating was fresh pasta with vodka sauce from our local Italian market. While I’ve found a great option for fresh gluten free pasta in RP’s, I hadn’t ever seen fresh gluten free raviolis up until La Pasta’s. The pasta is so tender and delicate but don’t burst open when they boil up, and are stuffed full of a combination of four perfect cheeses. I just love splitting my raviolis into four bite sizes pieces, letting the melted butter mix with the cheese filling, a little bite of heaven!



Whole Foods Ravioli



Melted butter is the perfect topping for gluten free ravioli!

I’m so grateful for companies like La Pasta who’ve given something back to us gluten free folks that’s so much more important than they probably know. They’ve given us not only fantastic additions to our gluten free diets but a feeling of normalcy and inclusion again. I rarely now make a meal for my family where I have to make something completely separate and different from what my little girl and husband are enjoying. Now I can sit side by side with them and enjoy raviolis just as they do! My only wish is that more restaurants could jump on board with offering gluten free menus that are more than just a plain piece of chicken or buttered box pasta. These companies make phenomenal products that would make many a restaurant diner happy to dine out while being gluten free. 

Sincerely,

Lindsay (21 weeks)

Disney World Here We Come, Well Almost!

With Disney just around the corner, my weeks just keep getting busier and busier. On the top of my to do list this week is to share my belly pics from the last few weeks. I can hardly believe I’m 21 weeks right now, even though my belly and baby movement confirms just that. So needless to say I have some catching up on here to do. On top of sharing my pregnancy moments in time with you, I also wanted to go over my dining agenda for our Disney vaca coming up very soon. With my appetite halfway back to normal I’m so excited to dine at Disney and share with all of you my gluten free Disney dining plans! So for my Happy Monday post I thought I’d sprinkle my blog with a little Disney magic and share our dining plans!

We’ve taken a number of trips over our years together and the planning is always one of my favorite parts. No, we don’t have typed out itineraries planning every detail down to scheduled bathroom pit stops, but we do make sure we have a plan for each of our days figured out before we go. Thankfully, this practice came in handy when vacationing gluten free because there’s certainly no better way to travel gluten free then with a plan. Our Disney vacations are no different, in fact Disney themselves make it so you almost have to plan out every detail of your vacation before you even go, from dining 6 months out to picking your ride fastpasses 60 days prior to leaving. Yes, it takes a bit of the spontaneity out of your vacation which we still try to maintain with open-ended lunch locations and a dinner or two along with our park hopper passes, but for this Gluten Free Mom To Be planning most of my meals ahead is a must.  



One of our topiaries last year! Wish we could've taken it home for our Bambi nursery!



One of our favorite topiaries last year! Wish we could’ve taken it home for our Bambi nursery! 

This time around we’re venturing to Disney in a cooler season than we had originally planned thanks to Baby #2’s arrival early to mid- summer, but we’re so excited because we’re going to be there for the Flower and Garden Festival, an amazing Epcot event that we were able to catch at the very end last Spring. On top of the gorgeous floral topiaries, we’re so excited to revisit the butterfly garden with our little butterfly lover. enjoy some of the music that’s supposed to be there that weekend, and finally make a few pit stops to some of the food stands throughout the countries, which I’m crossing my fingers that there are some gluten free and pregnancy friendly treats for me to enjoy. But on top of the special event that we’re going to be around for, we’ve got some really exciting meals planned, some are favorites that we do every time, some are occasional meals that we like to enjoy here and there, and some are brand new places for us!

Day 1: We always try to head straight over to Magic Kingdom our first day after we arrive and sneak in a lunch and a few rides before an early dinner. We have an early dinner reservation at 50s Prime Time Cafe, which has kind of turned into a tradition of doing on the first night. What can I say, I look forward to that fried chicken for months before so why not ring in your vacation with as a great a gluten free dish as this one. 



Disney Summer 2014 (12)



50s Prime Time Cafe gluten free friend chicken.

 

Day 2: We’re heading back to Magic Kingdom to enjoy some more of our favorite rides, characters, and parades until our dinner at Ohana at the Polynesian. We haven’t been to Ohana the past few trips but we think our little girl will really like the food not to mention everything going on around her this time around. I just wish they could do a gluten free lomein when they bring that delicious looking bowl full of the gluten filled version but I’ll just be happy with that amazing salad to start!



Our first Ohana visit when I was pregnant with our little girl!



Our first Ohana visit when I was pregnant with our little girl!

Day 3: One of our favorite stops when we’re in Disney World is Epcot, and especially now with the Flower and Garden Festival going on. With most of this day spent in Epcot, we planned a new dinner for us at the Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios. It’s a two meal dinner so it’s a splurge but the menu is definitely up Dan’s alley and their infamous Cobb Salad is right up mine. I couldn’t resist trying it this time around thanks to the amazing reviews by Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free in WDWGluten Free in Orlando. So excited for this one!

Day 4: Hollywood Studios is usually our shortest day so we’re planning on doing a morning at that park and then maybe some pool time if it’s warm enough before our dinner at the Rose & Crown Pub in Epcot. Dan loves the Rose & Crown food, I’m more of a fan of the actual restaurant and the outdoor seating right on the lake even though they have made a delicious steak with garlic mashed potatoes.

Day 5: We’ve always wanted to see Animal Kingdom Lodge but truthfully haven’t made it over there because it’s kind of out of the way. We figured there was no time like the present and we’d take advantage of our Animal Kingdom day and just head straight over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for a new dinner. Our little girl loves animals so Animal Kingdom is always a highlight of her trip so we figured a dinner at Sanaa would be a real treat for her, especially if we catch a glimpse of animals grazing by while we eat. Even though I’ve read pretty good reviews on the dining here, I’m still a bit nervous because the cuisine is not necessarily up my alley but Dan is beyond excited.

Day 6: Time for our second Epcot day! While I’m not too keen on all of the walking that Epcot entails while I’m pregnant, I am really happy that this trip we’re not going to be doing the trek in 110 degree summer heat like we’ve done in the past. We decided this day to either take advantage of the food stands or do a delicious dinner at Tutto Gusto wine cellar in Italy. I’m leaning towards a nice sit down dinner where I can get my favorite gluten free Pomodoro Pasta or maybe something new!



Gluten Free Pasta Pomodoro at Epcot's Tutto Gusto



Gluten Free Pasta Pomodoro at Epcot’s Tutto Gusto

Day 7: We always try to do a character breakfast every trip, especially since we have a huge Disney lover on our hands. This time around we decided to do an early breakfast at the Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom where you can meet Winnie the Pooh and friends. We’ve done this breakfast before and little one loved the humongous squishy characters who she couldn’t get enough hugs from, but now she knows who they are so I think it might be an even bigger hit.



Crystal Palace Breakfast



Crystal Palace gluten free breakfast in Magic Kingdom

After our breakfast at Crystal Palace we’ll spend our last full day in Magic Kingdom, day and night, with a break at dinner time for one of my favorite dinners at Kona Cafe in the Polynesian. This has become an every vacation tradition, and usually ends up being our last night’s dinner because we LOVE this dinner location! Anywhere where I can get a humongous bowl of their gluten free noodle dish with grilled chicken that reminds me of my favorite lomein of years past is phenomenal in my book! 



Large bowl full of Kona Cafe's gluten free Pan-Asian Noodles!



Large bowl full of Kona Cafe’s gluten free Pan-Asian Noodles!

Day 8: Our last day in Disney is bitter sweet, we usually book our flight for later in the day/night so we can enjoy a fuller day at the end. We squeeze some of our last favorite rides, sit down for a nice lunch, and just relax back at the resort until our not so Magical Express arrives to take us to the airport.

We’re so excited to explore Disney one last time as a family of three but also with our second little one in tow in mommy’s belly makes it even more special. We vacationed in Disney in the heat of the summer when I was pregnant with our first little girl and we just love telling her that she was in Disney before she was even born and now we’ll get to do the same for this little one. Since we’ve had some hiccups the past few vacations, my fingers are crossed extra tight that we’re all happy and healthy for this adventure. We’re so excited for our big vacation, and as always I’ll be sharing my delicious meals with you when I get back so stay tuned to see how the dining goes but also to find out if our little girl will have a new brother or sister!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (21 weeks) 

 

Halfway There And The Countdown Begins Until Baby #2 Arrives!

20 weeks down and 20 weeks to go, maybe less if we get an early appearance like our first! Oh my, it sounds so long when you phrase it like that right now, especially since this week I’ve been feeling less than stellar, but I know as the weather warms up and we’re able to be out and about, time will really start to fly. The next 20 weeks are going to packed full of finishing little girl’s big girl room, sprucing up the baby nursery to make it personal for Baby #2, unpacking and washing all of the baby equipment that we stashed away in the basement after little girl outgrew it, signing up for CBR for Baby #2, and picking up a few new baby items for round two. The good news with Baby #2 is that we have tons of the necessary baby equipment already so we’re really only left with picking up the obvious newborn necessities and filling in our supplies with a few accessories better suited for two little ones.

On our list of Baby #2 purchases:

  • Side-by-side double stroller
  • Two camera video monitor so we can keep an eye on both little ones
  • A baby sling that’s a bit more comfy than the Baby Bjorn that we used round 1
  • New diaper bag, how does anyone get there diaper bag to survive more than 1 baby I’ll never know 
  • New food processor/blender that would work well for baby food and smoothies, I tossed around doing this with my first but had a rough year after she was born so kind of forgot about then
  • Some odds and ends for the Bambi nursery which we did very gender neutral before babies, except for a few personal touches: i.e. new name letters in pink on the wall, hang some pink lanterns above the crib that we held onto from our It’s A Small World party, and thinking about getting a new rocking horse and a few stuffed animals so Baby #2 can have their own set of friends that our little girl seems to have fallen in love with

Thankfully, we already made some head way on this list and picked up a new diaper bag on our last adventure to Disney. Our trip was pre-baby on board so it wasn’t picked on any gender, so no baby reveal here by the color choice, but instead I picked mommy’s favorite. It’s an adorable and subtly Disney Vera Bradley bag with Mickeys and Minnies here and there throughout the floral pattern. I’ve stashed it away until the big day of Baby #2’s arrival this summer so I’m very eager to use it but wanted it to be something special to start our new adventure with our next little one. 



Vera Bradley Disney Bag



Vera Bradley Disney Bag, check it out on Disney Store’s website for more details

Other than the diaper bag we’re on the hunt for the rest of the list which I’m sure will grow as I see new baby items out there. But for now, those are the basic essentials we need to get started on our next adventure. As the weeks tick away, I’m planning on sharing some of my favorites in each of these categories and hopefully hear some of yours too to help our decision making. While in many ways this pregnancy seems to have been chugging along slowly, I truly can’t believe that we’re halfway there and we’ll be meeting this little one in only a few months! Here we go!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (20 weeks) 

Schar Gluten Free Chocolate-Dipped Cookies Are Pure Bliss

After a number of years living gluten free and trying countless gluten free products, I usually tend to steer away from pre-packaged cookies since my past has taught me that the higher price and ease of convenience doesn’t necessarily guarantee a better tasting product than homemade. Since my early days living gluten free though, times have changed and more and more fantastic gluten free products are appearing on the shelves and certainly warrant a taste test. Being a gluten free blogger I’m more than happy to oblige and give these products a test run and share the good, run out and buy immediately products, and also the bad, not worth the extra money items, with all of my fellow gluten free folks.

In my gluten free phase of life, I can definitely say that Schar has become one of my favorite brands, most of the time loving every bite from their line but some of the time hating their break apart $5.99 loaf of bread. Despite their low points though, I have been and will always be a Schar follower, after all no brand is perfect, and am willing try any and all of their products that pop onto the shelves. I’ve dabbled mostly in their bread products and crackers with an occasional sweet endeavor, but not too long ago Baby #2 gave me an extra push to dive into the sweets side of the shelf again. One of the first boxes of cookies that caught my eye were their Gluten Free, Wheat Free Chocolate-Dipped Cookies. The picture drew me in immediately and before I knew it the box of cookies had jumped into my cart, okay or maybe I was so excited I hurriedly shoveled them in!



Schar Gluten Free Chocolate- Dipped Cookies



Schar Gluten Free Chocolate- Dipped Cookies

I’m happy to report that Schar’s Chocolate-Dipped Cookies were for me love at first sight and then bite. They were just divine, very reminiscent of my mom’s favorite Milano cookies that she used to let us try from time to time. When I say these remind me of a Milano cookie I mean in every way possible from texture to taste; the crisp sweet cookie has just the right amount of a perfect chocolate bottom and could fool any non-gluten free eater any day. Pair these cookies with a cold glass of milk or Silk and you’re in for a few minutes of pure bliss. My only wish is that there were more in a package because this mommy-to-be surely couldn’t stop at eating just one!

In the gluten free world, it’s not incredibly shocking to have to search high and low for your favorite items and then spend more on your groceries than a non-gluten free shopper. Gluten free living is work but I’m happy to report that I was able to pick up a 5.5 oz box of these cookies for about $4 at my local Shop Rite. They were a tad bit pricey but for a specialty cookie and one that tastes as good as this one the price is more than worth it and is comparable to a package of Milano cookies, in price and delight. So treat yourself and pick up a box of these amazing Schar cookies, and maybe an extra too to send over to this expecting mommy because I’m all out!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (20 weeks) 

A Pre-Valentine’s Dinner With My Love At Toscano’s Ristorante Where Eating Gluten Free Is Stress Free

Happy belated Valentine’s Day! It was Valentine’s week last week for sure with some heart crafting, cupcake baking, valentine decorating, and a few special love episodes of our favorite Disney Junior shows. And making our Valentine’s week a little extra special, mommy and daddy were able to enjoy a meal just us two pre-Valentine’s day so we could celebrate the big day with our little valentine. Whenever we have a special day to celebrate or get a chance to sneak out and enjoy some alone time the first place we want to escape to is Toscano’s Ristorante in Bordentown, NJ. A cozy, Italian restaurant that’s been our home ever since we started dating, this gem holds a special place in our hearts and even more so now that they can flawlessly create an amazing dining experience for both of us. 

The biggest joy in dining at Toscano’s is the worry free meal that we get enjoy. There’s no need to double check, triple check, quadruple check that your dish is gluten free here because the chef understands what a gluten free meal entails and is able to follow through without sacrificing flavor for a safe meal. I have to admit I’m an order the same dish every time you dine somewhere kind of girl, however here I’ve tried and loved many a dish, each one coming out exact or pretty darn close to how it’s described on the menu. Every single dish I’ve tried has been sauced and seasoned to perfection, which means we leave with nothing but big smiles and full bellies every time. 

Okay so for our parents only, pre-Valentine’s dinner and my mommy-to-be appetite back in tact I decided to go with the gluten free versions of the Antipasto Salad (which is gluten free already), Vodka Rigatoni, and for dessert a Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce. While I ordered my favorite dishes, true to form Dan indulged in two of the specials along with an extra special dessert just for him. Normally, we share desserts, if we even have room for them, and sometimes appetizers too but for this special occasion we had a lot to celebrate so we decided to splurge a little. As always, we didn’t have to wait too long until our appetizers arrived and oh my was I ever glad to see my heaping plate of antipasto salad placed in front of me. 

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By the way, pardon the less than stellar phone pictures, we left the camera at home but I just had to snap a few of the beauty of these dishes. Lettuce topped with cheese, mixed meats, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, onions, celery, all mixed in their house made balsamic dressing. It’s a divine appetizer, one that both Dan and I absolutely love and I may have enjoyed on a few take out occasions prior to our meal out. What I love most, besides the amazing mixture of flavors, is that each ingredient is chopped into small, bite size pieces so every bite you enjoy is filled with antipasto deliciousness. While I could have easily finished the whole plate, I saved half for tomorrow’s lunch, making sure I had plenty of room for my creamy vodka penne (the gluten free pasta they stock) that was on its way. And with perfect timing as always, our entrees arrived not too long after we had digested our appetizers.

Toscano's Ristorante (2)



And voila, my gluten free vodka penne was calling my name, steaming hot and looking just as beautiful as always. The gluten free pasta was cooked perfectly and smothered in a creamy vodka sauce chock full of prosciutto and tomatoes, all topped with a few slivers of cheese and some basil. This dish is by far my all time favorite pasta dish and Toscano’s does me proud every single time. I love a creamy, less tomato based vodka sauce and Toscano’s delivers just that. Needless to say, I finished every last bite of my entree, making me so glad that I saved some of my appetizer for the next day so I could enjoy my vodka penne at its best, fresh out of the kitchen.

To be honest, even pregnant me was pretty full at this point but Dan and I had decided to at least taste our desserts and save the rest for the next day if we needed to. I forgot to snap a picture of my Flourless Chocolate Cake but it was a beauty, especially with that gorgeous raspberry sauce drizzled all over it. Their cake is definitely more of a brownie cake texture rather than some flourless chocolate cakes that I’ve had that are more like eating a piece of fudge, both varieties I love and neither of which I would ever turn down mind you. This dessert though was the perfect, gluten free finish to our meal, even if I only took a grand total of 3 bites out of the huge piece of cake. Thankfully, I can report that flourless chocolate cake holds over very well until the next day. 

All together, it was a great meal filled with delicious gluten free food and even better company. We love taking our little girl with us everywhere, especially out to eat, she completes us, so Dan and I rarely get out just us two. So on occasions like this one, we always like to celebrate just mommy and daddy and then have a family celebration too. This holiday we wanted to do just the same, reserving a romantic dinner for us a few days before and having a special day with little girl included on Valentine’s day. Love was certainly in the air for our Valentines day celebrations this year and I’m constantly reminded of how much love we share in our family. Not a day goes by in our house that kisses, hugs, and plenty of I love yous are shared and that’s just the way we like it. No matter how you celebrated I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, filled with lots of love with your loved ones and plenty of tasty gluten free food!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (20 weeks) 

 

 

 

A Special Little Surprise For Our Soon-To-Be Big Sister

As our little girl’s new room begins to take shape, it’s beginning to feel so surreal that we’ll one day soon have two little ones running around together. Only last week we found out who our Baby #2 is and we couldn’t be more happy and excited to welcome he or she into our family and into this world. Curious who our little one might be? No worries, with Disney right around the corner I thought it would extra special to make our announcement then and there, so only a bit longer until the big reveal. Until then, I’ve added one more really fun feature to the big girl room that I think a certain somebody will really enjoy.



Floral Canopy Tent



Floral Canopy Tent

The past few weeks my little girl has really started to get into hide and seek and fort making. As a new two, we’re not the best at the hiding concept, usually revealing herself with a giggle or jumping out from a hiding spot, but loving the game just the same. I had thought about adding a little teepee or tent to her big girl room that could be her little nook for playing, hiding, or even taking a little nap if mommy gets lucky. It took awhile to find just the right one that I thought would suit her perfectly without breaking mommy and daddy’s budget but I’ve finally found it. I picked out this ceiling mounted lilac floral canopy that I thought would make a really fun space for our new hider that she could play with her stuffed friends and maybe mommy too. We were able to snatch one of these gorgeous canopies from RH Baby & Child during their amazing winter sale event while happily staying in budget. I can’t wait to see it all set up live and in person but just through the packaging I can tell that it’s going to be well loved.

Even though the future big girl room is right now just a storage space, come spring my little girl’s new room will take shape and we’ll be moving her in so we can tweak the nursery to be baby friendly once again. In the meantime, we’re letting her keep a few toys in there and play from time to time so she gets used to the idea that it’s hers. When it comes time for the big reveal I think our little girl will feel all of the love that went into her new room and hopefully feel just as special as we had hoped she would as she becomes a big sister.

Sincerely,

Lindsay (19 weeks)

 

Start You And Your Baby’s Day With A Glass Of Gluten Free Naked Juice Smoothie

Now that I have a little bit of my appetite back I’m craving tons of things, and true to form both sweet and salty. I’ve always been somebody that loves a salty bite after a sweet or vice versa and pregnant me I guess is no different. I certainly have been craving some fun snacks from my beloved pickles or cheddar and sour cream potato chips to a good bowl of ice cream. Besides the obvious treats, I also can’t get enough of fresh fruit and salads galore. Since fresh fruit can be very very pricey at this time of year in my neck of the woods I on occasion enjoy a fresh fruit salad but I also turn to juices or smoothies. I used to love making these fresh and mixing in some veggies here and there, but until produce prices come down a bit and I get a little more energy to make them on my own again, I rely on delicious fruit smoothie substitutions like this one by Naked. 



Gluten Free Naked Fruit Juice Smoothie



Gluten Free Naked Fruit Juice Smoothie

Naked offers tons of different smoothie options from all fruit to fruit and veggie and most are gluten free. They have a perfectly thick and smooth smoothie texture and are packed full of nutritious goodness. I pair a half of a glass of smoothie in the morning with either a sweet breakfast treat or toast or a bagel, keeping my growing belly full for just a bit longer than usual. I’ve only tried a few of the fruit flavors but my favorite so far is the strawberry banana which is conveniently marked gluten free. Check out more on this smoothie option and all of the rest of their Naked Fruit Juices. But I should probably note that there is some confusion on gluten free labeling for these juices. 

According to Naked, there are only a few varieties that they do not recommend to you if you’re gluten free and by my inspection it appears to be because of the presence of barley or wheat. However, some of the varieties like the strawberry banana are marked gluten free while others whose ingredients appear fine are not. I was in mid drink of a glass of the mango juice smoothie and noticed the labeling difference and called customer service for an explanation on the discrepancy. Unfortunately, the information I received was less than helpful and I was told to review the ingredients with my doctor. Now I should mention that regardless of whether an item is marked gluten free or not, I personally always review the ingredients for my own reassurance; that being said, prior to the instruction to just read the label, I knew already that the ingredients were okay on the mango juice but I wasn’t sure why some were marked gluten free and others were not, i.e. because of cross contamination or something like that. After a few more minutes going over cross contamination and differences in labeling I was no closer to any clarification but was directed again to read the ingredients on the label carefully and even told that maybe Naked was starting to label those kinds that were gluten free.

Despite the confusion on the juice labeling, by reading the ingredient labels I have never had an issue with any of the varieties I’ve tried. But for now, I’ll be purchasing those that are labeled gluten free for my own reassurance so I can enjoy every last drop! 

Sincerely,

Lindsay (19 weeks)

Almost Halfway There And This Mommy-To-Be Can’t Wait To Find Out Who Our Little Swimmer Is Next Week!



17 Weeks with Baby #2



17 Weeks with Baby #2

With a predicted blizzard on our hands earlier this week, we’ve been somewhat snowed in or at least frozen in because it’s been so cold outside lately. But no amount snow or cold was going to keep us away from taking our little girl to see a special surprise that was perfect just for her. We were treating our snowed in bunny to Disney On Ice, Princess And Heroes. I was a bit skeptical back when we purchased the tickets if she would actually sit through the entire thing but boy was I wrong. 

With a two hour ice show filled with all of her favorite Disney princesses, princes, and characters galore, she was in awe of everything from start to finish, even straining to stay awake not wanting to miss a second at the end. We had amazing seats so that way little one and her cousins would catch all of the action from up above and did they ever. It was a fantastic show even for us adults, and our kids couldn’t get enough of the fancy ice moves, music and lights flashing, surprising stunt work, and even better sets and props. And what would a fun night out be without a funny anecdote about your toddler, this night was no exception. While nibbling away on her special soft pretzel, she happened to notice the people controlling some of the spotlights who were seated near the ceiling above us and she couldn’t get enough of them. So between enjoying the show she would crane her neck to admire, point at, and even wave and say hi to the light controllers up in the rafters. Bet they didn’t know they were part of the show for a certain little girl!

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While Disney On Ice was certainly a winner for our little girl, I think we might just have a future Disney lover swimming around in my belly too. With my bump getting bigger and bigger, I’ve been feeling a little bit of movement but none compared to the swirling around that’s been going on this week. By far though the most movement was at the show, where it literally felt like I swallowed a 5 inch fish and it was swimming around like crazy in my belly. Such an extraordinary feeling that never gets old.

To find out more on my 17th week of pregnancy and catch a peak of my little copilot, check out my surprise vlog! Ignore the lovely thumbnail image from the video, because I’m sure there were no smiling moments that youtube could snapshot for me, gotta love it!

 

 

 

 

A few more details of what 17 weeks looks like in our house:

  • Go to gluten free foods: Fruit salad, bagels with cream cheese, homemade pizza with Schar crusts, lots and lots of salads with Marie’s Blue Cheese Dressing, Ore-ida fries with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and blue cheese dressing….as you can tell my appetite is returning a little at a time 
  • How am I sleeping?: Things are going pretty well here with only one bathroom wake up each night, which really isn’t too different than the norm for me.  
  • What’s happening in our world this week: As I mentioned earlier, we were in that blizzard prediction earlier this week with no blizzard to be found which is fine by me. What we did get was about 5-6 inches of fluffy white snow that our little girl just loved playing in, mommy not so much seeing as it is beyond freezing outside. But watching her get out and get some fresh air, laughing and smiling away was worth a little while of me not feeling my legs.
  • Countdown to baby gender reveal: We’re almost there! Just a short, really excruciatingly long weekend, away from seeing our little baby live and in person Monday and learning what we have in store for us. I couldn’t be more excited to not only find out boy or girl but to see that little one swimming around in there again.
  • What I love most at this point: That first real feeling of baby moving around is truly extraordinary. Up until now I’ve felt tons of swirls and small little movements but none like this week where baby has been literally swimming laps in there. I guess Baby #2 is going to be a water lover/ swimmer just like it’s sister and mommy!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (17 weeks)

 

What’s A New Room Without A DIY Project: Transformation Tea Table And Chairs Is On Our List!

When I first started imagining my baby girl in her very own big girl room I first had to get over the shock that this little baby girl that we had brought home from the hospital not too long ago would be moving out of the nursery and into her very own special space. After getting a handle on that overwhelming thought, I couldn’t help but get excited about the project ahead. With a toddler who just loves to play 24/7 I knew that I wanted to keep it simple when it came to toys in her actual room. After all, right now, we literally only have a container of stuffed animals or “friends” that she absolutely loves and plays with when she’s in her room but they don’t really detract away from the main mission of being in there for nap time or bed time. When we had a few other things it was play time central so we had to clean house and simplify her room so sleeping was still the main focus of the bedroom. So as far as toys and play things in her big girl room, we’re keeping it simple and adding a few things that will definitely make it special.



Play Table



Adorable play table with farmhouse chairs!

Last Christmas Santa brought our little girl a princess tea set and ever since she’s been making tea for anyone and everyone that stops by. It’s no surprise than that one of the first things that I knew I wanted to include in her big girl room was a little tea table that she could enjoy now and for years to come, it truly would be a perfect addition to her new room. After a little scoping on pinterest, I knew that I wanted to go with a Pottery Barn/ Land of Nod inspired set with farmhouse chairs or something of that nature that was good quality and had some pretty details to it. Contrary to what I imagined though, kiddie tables and chairs can literally cost as much as a normal sized kitchen table and chairs, which is a bit extravagant for our budget for her big girl room. So it was back to the drawing board and the searching online continued. 

After searching high and low for a good deal without any success I all but gave up on this first idea, until that is I came upon a gorgeous set on a yard sale site resembling the adorable table and chairs in the picture above. It was a beautifully made round table with four mini farmhouse chairs that with a little tender, love, and care and our own personal flair would make a certain little girl very happy, not to mention we managed to snatch it up for $35 making mommy and daddy even happier. No the table and chairs don’t look quite like those in the picture above yet but once we decide if we should paint everything white or do a cool stain we’ll have a gorgeous tea table on our hands. Stay tuned for the tea table renovation!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (17 weeks)

 

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